Indeed, it has been a good ride

Wedding of Graham Wolfe and Katie Knoedelseder

Doug Wolfe

In December, it will be 30 years since I first met Doug Wolfe. He had just launched his St. Louis design business, Hawthorne/Wolfe, and my employer at the time, Southwestern Bell, was one of his first clients. Our first assignment together was small and, as was often the case, rushed. We had to produce an invitation for an employee event called Celebrate the Spirit, which featured Crystal Gayle of Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue fame.

Within a month, we learned that we had been given one of the greatest projects of our careers, both then and now – a four-color employee magazine called Enterprise. Doug designed it, I edited it, and we went on to win a number of awards together.

Having come from a newspaper background, I was used to doing things quickly and without much fuss. We threw layouts together in a hurry, and while we cared about aesthetics, we didn’t have time to be meticulous. I knew I was in a different ballgame when Doug announced to me that he’d come up with the perfect grid for the new magazine, and we’d be using 9.7-point type set on 10.5. Where I came from, we never got beyond 8 on 9 or 10 on 12.

bobprow

Bob Prow

I think we’ve brought out the best in each other, and we’ve done too many projects together to count. We’ve helped each other appreciate how all the tools of communication can be brought to bear to help clients connect with audiences who matter to them. I’ve brought opportunities Doug’s way, and he has done the same for me. And through it all, Doug and his wife, Marta (the Hawthorne in Hawthorne/Wolfe), have become friends with Pat and me, and we’ve watched our kids grow up together.

In 1997, Doug invited Bob Prow, a key member of his creative team, to join him as a partner, and the firm became ProWolfe. Bob and Doug have been a good team, both driven to serve clients with creative product that always came in on time and almost always under budget. The third major player at ProWolfe, Jo Kincaid, exemplifies the same commitment to client service and to pulling together great resources to make excellence happen. Bob, Jo and I also have worked together extensively, and our collaborations always have been a pleasure.

Jo Kincaid

Jo Kincaid

Doug is announcing today that effective June 30, the team members at ProWolfe are heading off in new directions. He plans to do occasional consulting; he and Marta will spend much more time on their tandem bike, exploring the U.S. and other countries as well. As he says in his farewell message, it’s been a good ride (and, I might add, it’s about to get even better).

Bob will be serving clients through ProwAlliance, and he’ll focus on branding, financial communications and corporate responsibility reporting. He’s highly experienced in all these areas and will continue to be a great asset to his clients.

Jo is establishing her own business, Resourcive, and she’ll provide strategic communications and design services to corporate clients across a full range of media from print and web to mobile and video.

I look forward to continuing to work with Bob and Jo, and I’d encourage you to get to know them both if you don’t already. They’re both St. Louis-based, but they work nationwide. If you do communication work, put them high on your list. I’ll be glad to introduce you whenever you’re ready.

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7 Responses to Indeed, it has been a good ride

  1. Ray Colon says:

    Hi Pete,

    What a nice send off. Any relationship that is sustained over a long period of time is worth celebrating. That this one has been mutually beneficial throughout is a plus.

    • Peter Faur says:

      Thanks, Ray. As you know, you can’t succeed without help from others. I hope young people just starting out recognize this and work hard to establish solid, mutually beneficial partnerships.

  2. Doug Wolfe says:

    Pete,

    Thanks for the kind words. You have taught me a lot over the years – and for that I am grateful. One of the most important was training a visual problem solver to think like an editor. The best communications always balance well-crafted words and images – and design is the invisible glue holding them together.

    • Peter Faur says:

      Hi, Doug. I didn’t say enough about Marta! You and she together have been wonderful friends for us, and I know she has been a key component of the success of ProWolfe. We look forward to seeing you both soon.

  3. Ned Maniscalco says:

    I had the great good fortune to work with these wonderful people for more than three years, and it was an experience I’ll always cherish. Doug has the energy and intellectual curiosity of a man half his age, along with an incredible ability to absorb huge amounts of information on a broad array of subjects. He made me and everyone who worked with him better at what they did.

    As for Marta, Bob and Jo, I doubt you’d find a group of professionals in any field with their dedication, integrity — and sense of fun. As Marta liked to say when things got a bit tense, “We’re not saving lives around here, just butts.”

    But there’s another member of the ProWolfe family that deserves a special mention: Duffy, the late, beloved bearded collie who made coming to work an absolute delight and whose joyful, loving spirit was a ProWolfe hallmark.

    So to Doug, Marta, Bob and Jo, thanks for the memories and all the best as you embark on your latest adventures.

    • Peter Faur says:

      Great points, Ned. I still miss seeing Duffy when I’m in St. Louis, which has been too long now. As you know, you’ve made great contributions as well to my professional and personal life. We need to get together!

  4. Pingback: A brief exhibit, a storied career | Peter Faur

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